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Iran Press Review: 06 Feb.

Foreign Policy

  • During Friday Prayers in Tehran today, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani, the interim Friday Prayer leader, asked:
    • “What plan did the enemy have for this country and today what plan does it have? What must the Islamic Ummah [nation] and the nation of Iran do?”
  • Hojjat al-Eslam Yahya Saleh-Nia, an interim Friday Prayer Leader for West Tehran, states:
    • “Our nation is aware that we are in a full-scale political, economic, and cultural war with the West.”
  • Ayatollah Ka’abi, a member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, states:
    • “Is the essence of revolution economic or political, or security or defense? Answering these questions can change our perspective when it comes to the Islamic Revolution.”
    • “The Islamic Revolution is not limited to time and place”
    • “For the civilization-creating Islamic Revolution, [a] divine and global ideology is needed, not human ideology.”
  • Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a Foreign Ministry Deputy, states:
    • “Syria today has become an institution in the Islamic and Arab world in combatting terrorism and extremism.”
    • “America and the West have reached this conclusion at present, that in any political process, a realistic approach with a political solution is necessary in Syria.”
  • Yesterday Abdollahian noted:
    • “Tehran is serious in fighting terrorism and combating Takfiri extremism.”
    • “That which has appeared in France and Jordan with the name of the terrorist group DAESH (the Persian & Arabic acronym for the Islamic State – IS) is the result of flawed policy of the instrumental use of terrorism in Iraq, Syria, and in the region.”
  • Fars News Agency reports on protests by university students, noting:
    • “A group of students gathered in front of the foreign affairs ministry of our country while protesting against the method of negotiations and the project of ‘normalizing relations with America,’ and announced that the desire of the nation of Iran and the Revolutionary offspring in negotiations is not walking (a reference to the Kerry-Zarif photo-op in Geneva) but rather Revolutionary action.”
  • Iran’s Minister of Justice, Hojjat al-Eslam Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi weighed-in on Iran’s international orientation:
    • “With the guidelines of the Leadership and the accompaniment of the people, Iran’s Revolution has well preserved the line of neither East nor West which the Imam (Ayatollah Khomeini) drew.”
  • Fars News Agency reported: “Iranian and Syrian officials in a meeting in Tehran underscored the necessity for annihilation of all Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) in the Middle-East region. During the meeting on Wednesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi and his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad discussed the latest international developments, and underlined the need for a Middle-East free of weapons of mass destruction.”

Military & Security

  • Iran’s Minister of Interior, Abdol-Reza Rahmani-Fazli, notes:
    • Referring to Iranian influence: “This issue is seen in countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Palestine, and other countries.”
    • “America punishes those countries who secretly have relations with Iran on a daily basis, and America and Israel no longer have the power that they used to have.”
  • Commenting on the Iran-Iraq War and Iranian preparedness, Mohsen Raafiqdoost, the former Minister of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), emphasizes self-sufficiency, noting:
    • “And we were confident that in order to defend ourselves, we must build ourselves up, and in the year [13]65 when we sold oil at eight dollars (a barrel), we fought against the enemy with products made from our hands and we became victorious, and missiles made by our own hands were used in the war which the martyr Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam built, and today, the glory of a three-thousand kilometer missile is in his name.”
  • Fars News Agency reported on a press release put out by Iran Electronics Industries (IEI) linked to Iran’s Ministry of Defense relating to Iran’s most recent satellite launch which confirmed that “the national Fajr satellite…has orbited around the earth 48 times.”
  • Iran’s Artesh [National Army] Naval Commander, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari stated, as reported in a Tasnim News Agency headline: “The security of the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf, and the Sea of Oman is in our hands.”
  • Iran’s IRGC put out a statement on the Islamic Revolution, its achievements, and the IRGC’s function:
    • “The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps…intelligently manifests its presence…in the geographies of resistance and the Islamic Awaking, and in combating the common enemies of the Islamic Ummah including DAESH and the Zionist regime.”
  • Haaretz reports: “Uruguay expelled a senior diplomat in Iran’s embassy in Montevideo two weeks ago, following suspicions that he was involved in placing an explosive device near the Israeli embassy in early January, according to senior sources in Jerusalem.”
  • Anthony Cordesman wrote in Reuters: “It has become conventional wisdom that most sectarian conflicts in the Middle East today are fueled, to some extent, by Iran and Saudi Arabia. The worsening political situation in Yemen — which led to Shi’ite Houthi rebels ousting President Abrabuh Mansour Hadi on Jan. 22 — was described by some military experts as the result of a purported Saudi-Iran “proxy war” in Yemen. That these two countries are enemies has been taken for granted by most, but is rarely examined or questioned.”

Nuclear Issue

  • Fars News Agency reports that Mohammad-Javad Zarif, Seyyed Abbas Eraqchi, Majid Takhteravanchi, “and Iran’s technical nuclear team” departed for Germany, where Zarif is slated to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry in a bilateral sidebar meeting during the 51st Assembly of the Munich Security Conference.
    • Eraqchi noted: “We will strive as much as possible for a political agreement on the generalities to take place by the end of March.”
  • Javan Online reports Foreign Minister Zarif’s statements prior to his departure:
    • “We are supposed to have detailed bilateral negotiations with all parties in the Munich conference.”
    • “On the sidelines of this conference, we will conclude other bilateral negotiations with the parties who expressed an interest.”
    • “It is unclear if we can conclude a nuclear agreement, but we can move things forward a bit.”
  • Elsewhere Hojjat al-Eslam Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi comments on nuclear negotiations:
    • “Our religious and logical mandate is to go get our right from the world, but we must not unravel with the smile and promise of our opponent.”
    • “However, we must not be pessimistic with respect to negotiations, because we have no reason to be pessimistic, but we must find the point of weakness of our opponent.”
    • “It is possible that in some tactics, different views may exist about the opinions of the Leadership, but the [Supreme] Leader has not rejected this approach, but [he] insists that we not to be beaten or tricked by the opponent.”
  • Yesterday, President Hassan Rouhani commented on Iran’s nuclear diplomacy while in Esfahan:
    • “We must tear with cooperation together the chains of oppressive sanctions against the nation of Iran which were brought about by the enemies of this nation.”
    • On negotiations: “The people and the Armed Forces had a mighty resistance during the Imposed War (a reference to the Iran-Iraq War) and today, the soldiers of diplomacy of the country are present like men at the front lines of the battlefield.”
    • “At one point, the enemy tried to get Iran to do away with enrichment, but today the discussion is not that Iran should not have enrichment, and Iran continues its enrichment.”
    • “Until present, we have achieved numerous successes, and we will continue these successes to the final result.”
    • “In the future, we will tell the nation what effort has been expended in the nuclear negotiations.”
  • Etema’ad’s front page reported on the “rumor of a political agreement” between Iran and the P5+1.
  • Reuters reports: “Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for more than an hour on Friday to discuss developments in nuclear negotiations between Tehran and major world powers, which have been at an impasse for months. "Their meeting was focused on the ongoing nuclear negotiations and they discussed the recent meetings of the P5+1 (six world powers)," a senior U.S. State Department official said on condition of anonymity.”
  • The Washington Post Editorial Board wrote about the administration’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran, noting: “As the Obama administration pushes to complete a nuclear accord with Iran, numerous members of Congress, former secretaries of state and officials of allied governments are expressing concern about the contours of the emerging deal. Though we have long supported negotiations with Iran as well as the interim agreement the United States and its allies struck with Tehran, we share several of those concerns and believe they deserve more debate now — before negotiators present the world with a fait accompli.”

Economy & Trade

  • Fars News Agency picks up on a recent joint-report by Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and Roubini Global Economics about the growth of the Iranian economy despite low-oil prices. Mark Dubowitz, FDD’s Executive Director, is quoted.
  • Former Intelligence Minister, Ayatollah Ghorban-Ali Durri-Najafabadi touts ‘Resistance Economics:’
    • “With Resistance Economics and domestic production we can nullify the effects of sanctions and the sudden decrease in the price of oil.”
  • Yahya Al-Eshaq, Iran’s former Minister of Commerce, comments on the over-linkage between nuclear negotiations and prospective benefits for Iran’s economy. He said, as reported in a Tasnim News Agency headline:
    • “The economic future of the country must not be tied to [nuclear] negotiations.”
  • Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, Iran’s Ministry of Oil, comments on OPEC and oil:
    • “The decrease of the price of oil has roots in political factors.”
    • “Certainly, they will not give the Secretary-Generalship of the OPEC to Iran, and there is always a country against Iran’s Secretary-Generalship in the OPEC organization.”
  • Mehr News Agency runs a headline about the pricing of produce and other food items in Iran. It particularly notes that “bananas have become expensive.”
  • Fars News Agency reports: “The Joint Iran-Russia Chamber of Commerce is due to dispatch six trade delegations to Moscow by the end of 2015. The issue was raised in a meeting between Russian officials and the Vice-Chairman of Iran-Russia Chamber, Kadir Kijafa.”

Daily Picture(s)

  • Mashregh News highlights Iranian officials at a commemoration ceremony for the 40th day anniversary of the martyrdom of Hamid Taqavi, a member of Iran’s IRGC killed in Iraq in December 2014.
  • Islamic Republic News Agency displays photos Saeed Jalili, Iran’s former nuclear negotiator and now a member of the Expediency Discernment Council at a press conference.
  • Tombstones and graves of Iran-Iraq War victims are washed and paid homage to in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, as documented by Fars News Agency.
  • Fars News Agency covered day five of Iran’s International Fajr Film Festival.